My Honda Odyssey Key Is Stuck In The Ignition – What To Do?

Many Honda Odyssey models plying American roads still use mechanical key ignitions. If you're one of these older Odysseys' happy owners, you may want to know what to do if the key gets stuck in the ignition's keyhole. We've compiled the solutions to help you out in this situation.

If your Honda Odyssey's key gets stuck in the ignition, then you may do one or more of the following solutions.

  • Make sure that you are using the right key.
  • Check if your key is in the ignition's "Lock" position.
  • Disengage the steering wheel lock before turning the key to the "Lock" position.
  • Ensure that your gear shift lever is in "Park".  Clear away any obstructions along the shift lever's path.
  • If the shift lever is already "park", then lightly jiggle the lever a few times before moving the key to the ignition's "Lock" position.  
  • If the ignition is in the "Lock" position but the key is still stuck, then lightly jiggle the key inwards several times before pulling it out.
  • Disconnect the car battery.
  • Lubricate the key and the ignition keyhole.
  • If your key breaks, then you may use a key extraction tool.  You may also hire a locksmith or call your dealer.
  • If the ignition cylinder is defective, then you may need professional help to repair or replace it.

If you are having difficulties getting your Odyssey's key unstuck from the ignition, then you have come to the right place. Read on because we have the solutions for your "sticky" problem.

Private MPV Honda Odyssey Photo at NAKHON NAYOK DAM from Nakorn Nayok,Thailand, My Honda Odyssey Key Is Stuck In The Ignition - What To Do?

Why Won't My Honda Odyssey Key Come Out Of The Ignition?

Make Sure You Are Using The Right Key

Before we discuss several solutions for a stuck key, let's get something out of the way.  Are you using the right key?  

Honda stopped using a mechanical ignition for the Honda Odyssey in 2018. If you have one such Odyssey and another Honda vehicle with a keyed ignition, then you may accidentally use the wrong key sometimes. 

Some car manufacturers used to have only 1,000 mechanical key combinations or cutting designs per model.  Modern cars can have over 40,000 combinations.

In turn, Honda sells over 100,000 cars per month in the U.S. alone. This means that even today, there is still a chance that two Honda cars' keys can fit into each other's ignition cylinders. Nevertheless, if the keys have transponders, then an incorrect key will not start the engine.

Car shape keyring and remote control key in vehicle interior

Alternatively, an incorrect key may have a similar enough cut to enter your Odyssey's ignition keyhole partially.

Either way, sometimes it is possible to force the wrong key into the ignition keyhole. However, this action can damage the ignition cylinder and can bind up the key. If this is the case, then we recommend that you call your dealership or hire an automotive locksmith for help.

However, if you are certain that you are using the correct key, then we can explore the other solutions.

Check If Your Key Is In The Ignition's "Lock" Position

According to the Odyssey's owner's manual, you can insert as well as pull out the key only from the "Lock" position.  From the "Acc" position, you need to push the key slightly inwards before you can twist counter-clockwise to the "Lock" position.

Sometimes, drivers fail to get past the "Acc" position when they rush to get down from their cars. As a rule, you should always make sure to twist the key fully to the "Lock" position before you try to pull the key out.

Here's another tip - never try to pull out the key from the ignition when you are driving. If you are somehow able to force it out, your steering wheel will lock and you will probably get into an accident.

Unlock Your Steering Wheel

The interior of an old Japanese car Honda Stream with a view of the dashboard, steering wheel, speedometer and

Most cars have the steering wheel lock feature that immobilizes the steering wheel when the engine is not running. 

The steering wheel lock may engage if you turn your steering wheel to the left or right at the same time that you turn off your engine.  This steering wheel lock's mechanism also locks your key inside the ignition cylinder.

Before you can pull the key out, you must first unlock your steering wheel.

Put your foot on the brakes and gently wiggle your steering wheel as you turn your key towards the "Acc" or "On" position. You don't need to force the key, and you don't need to start the engine. When the steering wheel unlocks, you can turn your key freely.

As before, you should be able to pull your key out once it is in the ignition's "Lock" position.

Loosen Up The Safety Switch

The ignition cylinder has a safety switch that keeps your car keys in place when you're driving. To get past this safety switch, you have to push the key inwards lightly before twisting the key towards the "Lock" position.

This safety switch is a mechanical component, and it can bind up over time due to dust or dirt. If this is the case, then you can push the key lightly inwards repeatedly to loosen the dirt and free up the switch' mechanism.

Shift To Park

Many of today's A/T cars allow you to start and stop your engine only when your shift lever is in the "Neutral" or "Park" or position. 

However, if you turn your engine off while you're in "Neutral", then your ignition cylinder may bind your key up. In this situation, you may not be able to twist the key to the "Lock" position.

As a good driving habit, you should always shift to "Park" before turning off your engine. You should also clear the shift lever's path of any objects that can prevent the lever from moving properly into the right position.

On some occasions, however, the gear position sensor may act up. If the sensor cannot recognize that you already shifted to"Park", then you can try to nudge the lever a few times. After a few gentle prods, you can try twisting the key towards the "Lock" position.

Disconnect Your Car Battery

If your shift lever accumulates too much dirt or malfunctions in some way, then your ignition may bind up your key.  This time, the gear position sensor may be fine, but your shift lever has problems.

As a band-aid remedy, you may disconnect your car's battery. According to some Honda owners' testimonies in Honda car forums, your ignition switch will turn freely without electricity supply. Once you turn the ignition to the "Lock" position, you will be able to pull the key out.

However, unhooking the battery every time you turn off your engine is tedious. If you are a DIY car repair person, you can try to disconnect one of the plugs that lead to the ignition switch. See this video below to know which plug you need to pull out.

Clean And Lubricate The Keyhole

Your mechanical key needs to pass through the keyhole's tumblers before you can turn the ignition.  If the keyhole or the tumblers accumulate dirt or rust, they may bind up your key. To solve this, you may try using lubricants like WD-40 to clean the keyhole.

Visit Amazon and check out this WD-40 lubricant.

What Do I Do If My Car Key Is Breaks In The Ignition?

Car key stuck in ignition of a modern car

If you forcibly twist or pull your key, then you might break it in half and leave the key's blade inside the keyhole.  If this happens, you can try using a broken key extraction tool.  As before, you should disconnect the battery to make the extraction easier.

Check out the offer for this broken key extractor tool set on Amazon.

Alternatively, you can seek help from your dealership or an automotive locksmith.

What Do I Do If The Ignition Cylinder Malfunctions?

On some occasions, a malfunctioning ignition cylinder can lock up your key even without any driver's error.  As the car ages, the springs, tumblers, and other mechanical components can deteriorate and cause the whole cylinder to malfunction.

Some Honda experts can repair or replace their own ignition cylinders.  However, for many regular drivers, dealership or mechanic servicing are the best ways to go.

Does The 2022 Honda Odyssey Have Push Button Start?

Honda Odyssey 2018 Test Drive Day April 4 2018 in Hong Kong

The last U.S.-spec Odyssey with a mechanical key ignition rolled out of the dealership in 2017.   If you're looking to upgrade to a new MPV or minivan for your family, then perhaps the 2022 Odyssey is for you!

All the current U.S. trims of the Honda Odyssey have push-button ignition systems.  You'll never have to worry about getting your key stuck in the ignition again.

How Much Is The 2022 Honda Odyssey?

Below are the starting prices of the 2022 Honda Odyssey in America. These prices were taken on June 2, 2022.

  • EX - $ 37,340
  • EX-L - $ 40,410
  • Sport - $ 41,210
  • Touring - $ 44,450
  • Elite - $ 49,470

Wrapping Up

Private MPV Honda Odyssey Photo at NAKHON NAYOK DAM from Nakorn Nayok,Thailand

To get your Honda Odyssey's key unstuck from the ignition, you must check the following:

  • You are using the right key
  • The ignition is turned to the "Lock" position
  • You have unlocked your steering wheel
  • The ignition safety switch is disengaged
  • The shift lever is in the "Park" position
  • Your shift lever has no obstructions
  • Your ignition's keyhole is clean and lubricated

If your key breaks inside the ignition, or if your ignition cylinder malfunctions, then some professional assistance may be in order. Your dealership or an automotive locksmith may be your best option.

Thank you very much for reading.  We hope that we were able to help you find a solution to get your Odyssey's key out from the ignition. For more interesting reads about Honda cars and other automotive topics, check out these articles below.

How To Turn VTM-4 On And Off In A Honda Pilot

What Is Brake Hold On A Honda?

How To Remote Start A Honda Pilot

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